Amnesty International here to help

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By Diana Ybarra

By Diana Ybarra

Imagine being thrown into jail because of your beliefs and told by the government to keep quiet.

You would be known as a “prisoner of conscience.”

“A prisoner of conscience is an activist, environmentalist, etc., who is thrown into jail by their government to be kept quiet,” said club member Sacha Amry.

Amnesty International is a club here at Riverside City College that promotes human rights and activism.

In fact, Amnesty International (AI) comes in to offer its help here at Riverside City College in attempt to free these “prisoners of conscience.”

AI’s main attempt to get actively involved is by sending campaign letters to representatives in Washington D.C. regarding these prisoners.

These letters for the campaigns come from the main Amnesty International organization which is stationed throughout the world. It and has been active for 40 years.

Letters are sent out to each stationed group and these letters are sent to representatives. Each member of AI receives one, signs it and sends it off to their representative in Washington, D.C. AI members from RCC and from all around the world are involved in this process.

This effort proves to be effective because this method has helped free over 40,000 activists.

AI has made its main focus for this semester the “War on Terror.”

The club plans on hosting events where speakers can come and speak about a specific topics such as torture and then give real life experiences.

There have been meetings outside of RCC where members of RCC’s Amnesty International meet with other members from different campuses such as University of California, Riverside and Poly High School.

These members from these different campuses hope to have an united Amnesty International group in Riverside.

Some students get involved in AI to express their own ideas about positive change.

“I wanted to get involved with something that was positive and followed my views and this does it for me,” said club member Antonio Contreras.

While other people get involved to make a difference.

“I wanted to be aware of the issues and see if there was anything I could do,” said club member Michael Mees.

Meetings for Amnesty International take place every Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Lovekin Field Room F6. The club also meets on Saturdays at 3 p.m. Back to the Grind, in Riverside.

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